Holiday park upgrade plan wins approval

PUBLISHED: 14:41 30 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:24 17 June 2010

CONTROVERSIAL multi-million plans to upgrade a tired holiday park have been approved by district councillors. East Devon District Council s site inspection committee voted in favour of approving an application for 17 new units to be built at Stoneleigh

CONTROVERSIAL multi-million plans to upgrade a "tired" holiday park have been approved by district councillors.

East Devon District Council's site inspection committee voted in favour of approving an application for 17 new units to be built at Stoneleigh Holiday Park at its meeting last Friday.

As the holiday park is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the application must now go before the Secretary of State for the Environment for final approval.

The plans, which have been amended nine times, have been a bone of contention since they were unveiled in October? causing several angry neighbours to lobby against M2 Services, the company behind the re-development.

The application, which first came before councillors at a Development Control Committee meeting on Tuesday, January 13, proved popular with councillors although they opted for a site inspection.

Following the inspection and despite pleas made by a representative of Branscombe Parish Council, two Weston residents and a Stoneleigh leaseholder at the meeting, councillors expressed their support for the plans.

Councillor Ray Franklin said the officer's recommendation for approval was "the right one" but proposed some conditions on the application in order for it to be approved.

One of the most important conditions for close neighbour Calvin Lusty was the removal of a car park from the plans which would have been built within metres of his property causing noise and light pollution.

Mr Lusty said: "It is pleasing for us as we have ended up a little bit better off. By chipping away we have managed to get lighting reduced, they haven't got the entrances they wanted.

"I'm a bit disappointed they haven't reduced the number of units and I feel sorry for the people who live at Stoneleigh at the moment as they will have their views blocked."

Malcolm Thomas, a Stoneleigh leaseholder, added: "It will be like having holidays in Butlins."

Another condition was for developers to change the proposed glazed front on the Stones pub as councillor Chamberlain deemed it "incongruous to the nature of the area".

David Hedges, manager of Leigh Cottages in Weston who strongly objected to the plans, said: "I'm disappointed obviously that they are still going to overdevelop the site but pleased they are looking at changing the glass conservatory on the front."

M2 Chairman Nick Spysznyk welcomed EDDC's decision: "This is good news for the tourism sector in East Devon, and for new job opportunities on site.


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